Anne’s tips for life with MS
I use ‘Siri’ on my iPhone. It helps me call people when my vision is so bad I can’t find their phone number. Or if I have problems figuring something out I can say, “Siri, what is …?” and I get an answer. I couldn’t manage without it. I have problems with my sense of direction so I use GPS to plan my routes. I use my phone to make notes – if I’m going to the pharmacy I write down my medicines and if I’m going to the neurologist I’ll write down what I want to ask.
Try innovative solutions
I struggle with my balance so I use a scarf around my neck which I use to regulate my walking. I hold each end of the scarf as I walk, pulling them hard trying to straighten up my body.
Keep moving as much as you can
Walking is important for me. It gives me exercise. And when I get frustrated – instead of slamming the doors and yelling – I get dressed and go outdoors. I can let off some steam, I can cry. It simply gives me energy. It makes me so happy to get out, rain or shine. I always try to walk regardless of how I’m feeling, even if it’s only to the toilet.
I love baking because it helps with my cognition and I use my hands so I’m practicing my motor skills. What I like the most is seeing all the smiling faces because I baked bread or cinnamon buns. It makes people so happy, and that makes me happy too.
Enjoy the small things
A good sleep is the best. Eat a good breakfast, see the sun outside. Go out on the terrace with a book and a cup of coffee. Watch something nice on television, knit. Go on Facebook and chat a little and stay in contact with people.
Keep having fun
It is important to keep doing positive things, not just the necessary ones like going to the doctor. Go to a café, meet friends, play games. I play in a marching band, we enjoy ourselves and laugh, and I’m treated like a normal person.
I set two alarms on my phone to remind me to take my medication. Sometimes I don’t hear the first alarm, but then it goes off again ten minutes later and I’ll hear it. That is very reassuring.